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How do you make bacon not crispy?

Making bacon that is not crispy can be a challenge for many home cooks. The key is controlling the cooking temperature and time. This allows the bacon to render its fat and become tender, without crisping up or burning. With the right technique, you can achieve perfectly chewy, tender bacon every time.

Why Would You Want to Make Bacon Not Crispy?

There are several reasons you may want to make bacon that isn’t super crispy:

  • You prefer the texture of chewy, tender bacon over crispy bacon.
  • You are making a recipe where you don’t want crispy bits of bacon, like a bacon wrapped appetizer or bacon jam.
  • You want to crumble the cooked bacon over a salad or pasta dish and don’t want crispy crumbles.
  • You are cooking bacon to use in another recipe later, and don’t want it to be overcooked and dried out.

While crispy bacon certainly has its place, tender, chewy bacon can also be delicious and is better suited for some recipes and uses. Knowing how to make it properly gives you more versatility when cooking with bacon.

How to Cook Bacon So It’s Not Crispy

Here are some tips for getting perfectly tender, non-crispy bacon every time:

Use a Low to Medium Heat

Cooking over high heat is what causes bacon to crisp up quickly. Turn the heat down to medium-low, about 250°F to 325°F. This slower cooking allows the fat to render without crisping up the bacon.

Cook on a Rack

Cooking bacon directly on a pan causes the underside to overcook. Place a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the bacon slices in a single layer on the rack. This allows air flow under and around the bacon as it cooks.

Bake It

Baking bacon in the oven gives you more consistent, even cooking versus stovetop. Arrange the bacon on a rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400°F, adjusting the time based on thickness.

Try Thicker Cut Bacon

Thinner bacon tends to crisp up faster than thick cut bacon. Look for bacon slices that are 1/8 inch thick or thicker for tender results.

Cook Just Until Light Golden Brown

Fry or bake the bacon until it’s just lightly browned but still soft and flexible. Be sure to watch it carefully near the end of cooking.

Blot Excess Grease

After cooking, use paper towels to gently blot off excess bacon grease. This prevents overcooking from the hot grease.

Cool Properly

Allow the bacon to cool slightly before eating or using in recipes. Dropping freshly cooked hot bacon into room temperature ingredients causes carryover cooking, making it crispy.

How Long Does it Take to Cook Non-Crispy Bacon?

Cooking time will vary based on a few factors:

  • Bacon Thickness: Thicker cut bacon takes longer to cook than thin bacon.
  • Cooking Method: Bacon cooked in the oven takes 10-15 minutes while stovetop can be 5-10 minutes.
  • Temperature: Lower heat means longer cooking time. Higher heat cooks bacon faster.

For reference, here are some general guidelines for cook times:

Bacon Thickness Oven Time at 400°F Stovetop Time at Medium-Low
Regular sliced, 1/16 inch 8 to 12 minutes 4 to 6 minutes
Thick cut, 1/8 inch 12 to 18 minutes 6 to 10 minutes

Tips for Crispy Bacon That’s Not Burned

For times when you do want crispy bacon, you can use some of these same techniques to get crispy results without burning it:

  • Use a medium heat around 325°F to 375°F.
  • Cook on a rack to allow air flow.
  • Cook to deep golden brown but watch closely to avoid burning.
  • Blot grease during cooking and after removing from pan.
  • Cook thick cut bacon for crispy edges and chewy centers.

How to Know When Bacon Is Properly Cooked

It can be tricky to know exactly when bacon is done to your desired doneness without over or undercooking. Here are a few signs to look for:

For Chewy, Tender Bacon

  • Light golden brown color
  • Fat is rendered and starting to crisp but bacon still feels soft and flexible
  • Meat of the bacon still has a moist, meaty texture
  • Parcooked look without crispness

For Crispy Bacon

  • Deep golden brown color
  • Fat is rendered fully and bacon has crisp texture
  • Dry, crispy edges on bacon
  • Bacon slices have flattened out from shrinkage

Signs of Undercooked Bacon

  • Very light color, may still appear pink
  • Fat is still thick and rubbery, not rendered
  • Bacon is limp and flexible
  • Excess grease in the pan

Signs of Burned Bacon

  • Blackened, charred areas
  • Very dark brown, nearly black color
  • Dry and stiff texture
  • Burnt smell

How to Use and Serve Non-Crispy Bacon

Chewy, tender bacon can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Chop and add to baked goods like quiche, breads, pancakes, etc.
  • Crumble over salads, pasta, baked potatoes.
  • Wrap around chicken, shrimp, steak, or other foods.
  • Cook into a jam or spread.
  • Dice and cook into fried rice, beans, soups.
  • Add to Brussels sprouts, green beans, roasted vegetables.
  • Mix into dips and appetizers.
  • Use in place of pancetta in recipes.

For serving, chewy bacon is great on its own as a breakfast side, in sandwiches and burgers, or paired with eggs and pancakes. The rendered fat also makes a flavorful cooking oil.

Storing and Reheating Non-Crispy Bacon

Properly stored, cooked bacon will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator. To store:

  • Allow bacon to cool completely before refrigerating.
  • Arrange slices in a single layer on a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Cover tightly and store on lower shelf of refrigerator.

To reheat, bacon can be gently warmed in the microwave, skillet, or oven. Microwave in 10 second intervals until warmed through. For the stovetop or oven, cook over low heat just until heated through.


Achieving tender, chewy bacon instead of crispy is all about controlling the temperature and cook time. Use a lower heat, cook just until lightly browned, drain excess grease, and handle properly after cooking. With the right techniques, you can enjoy bacon with the exact texture you want – perfect in a range of dishes or for serving on its own.